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  1. #11
    Senior Member NewEra's Avatar
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    What part of your legs specifically do you want to become skinny? Your calves or thighs?

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    It's your body type. Some people carry weight in legs/butt, others in stomach/midsection, etc.

    Runners with super-skinny legs are probably petite people genetically, or they gain weight in their upper as opposed to lower body.

    You can't fight your genes. Just be healthy and learn to love your unique shape.

  3. #13
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    I'm fairly hourglass shaped, but a little more bottom heavy. I've never had incredible legs and I've come to terms with that, but I know that all over, they could be better than they are. However, I've read some conflicting information on what kinds of exercise are best depending on body type. I'm guessing that running is probably a good start, but am wondering about plyometrics and biking as well. Since I'm 32, I have realized that you have to make the most of the good things and do your best to make the less good things as good as they can be without stressing over them too much. I've done Callanetics, which did an incredible job of strengthening and toning my leg muscles and ruducing inches. However, I would like to find some cardio to go with it.

  4. #14
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade.sunrise View Post
    It's your body type. Some people carry weight in legs/butt, others in stomach/midsection, etc.

    Runners with super-skinny legs are probably petite people genetically, or they gain weight in their upper as opposed to lower body.

    You can't fight your genes. Just be healthy and learn to love your unique shape.
    Agreed, if you tend to carry weight in your legs, then that is just how you are genetically predisposed to carry weight. You'd probably have to get very thin all over before your legs got thin.

    I always heard ballerinas do pilates though; I think that's because it 1) strengthens your core, 2) improves balance & flexibility, and 3) uses your own body weight for resistance.
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

    INFP | 4w5 sp/sx | RLUEI - Primary Inquisitive | Tritype is tripe

  5. #15
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade.sunrise View Post
    You can't fight your genes. Just be healthy and learn to love your unique shape.
    Yes, this is the case for the most part.

    My legs are naturally super-muscular. The first time I ever even attempted to squat when I was 16 years old I got up to 300 pounds. My bodybuilding quest began as an effort to make my (disproportionatley) under-developed upper body more symmetrical so as to fit as nicely as possible with my lower body.

    After 20 years, 3 shoulder operations, and much toil my effort is complete, I am finally in proportion as good as can be expected given my genetics. I am finally in maintenance mode.

    If you have legs that are naturally muscular, and you want them to be skinny, then you might as well be a wishing that you would transform into a tiger, elephant, or other animal. It's just not going to happen.

    The advice in this thread is good.

    (1) Clean up your diet to cave-man standards (Perimeter of the supermarket, whole foods only (meats, fruits/veggies, dairy, whole grain breads), no processed sugar, frozen garbage, chips, hot dogs, etc.)

    (2) Train your whole body, not just your legs, or other pet body part.

    (3) Make a realistic assessment of your physique and set your goals accordingly. This helped me alot actually. I would not have ever been at peace if I didn't wake up one day and accept the fact that God gave me huge legs, good muscles up top, but very long gorilla arms, a relatively narrow chest, and a long torso. Once I accepted my frame the whole effort became much less oppressive, and became fun again.



    Good luck! Be healthy, don't be obsessed with unrealistic expectations!

  6. #16
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    Wait, so you're saying you're trying to lose more fat on your legs?

    If that's the case, your philosophy and approach is very wrong.

    1. Spot reduction is impossible. Give it up. get it out of your head. IT DOESN'T HAPPEN! You must lose fat from all over your body, theres no way to target it.

    2. If you want your legs to look more toned or muscular, you must work on gaining a bit of mass down there, which leads to point number three...

    3. LONG DISTANCE RUNNING IS LIKELY TO REDUCE THE SIZE OF YOUR MUSCLES! This prolonged endurance activity results in a high rate of catabolic activity in your leg muscles. That's why many long distance runners are very narrow and sprint runners have thick legs. They have very different ways of training, and training for distance will cause the body to lose excess muscle to increase the efficiency of such activity.

    Thus, what you need to be doing is cutting back on the distance above all else. Choose leg exercises that will up the intensity and give you a pump in your legs, leading to muscle growth and toning. Shorter duration, higher intensity. Interval training is very good for this. Weight lifting or targeted bodyweight exercises will work the muscles for growth. Bicycling can work for that as well.

    More importantly, make sure you eat plenty of protein to gain mass. Overall breakdown of muscle results from too few calories and protein for muscle repair and growth. To keep losing that fat, keep your calories low, but not too extreme. Try and work with a 1000 calorie daily deficit at the most, though you can really go lower. The numbers all depend on your body and its size and metabolic rate, so look up how to calculate all that if you don't already know. You can only lose fat under a calorie deficit, no other way.

    To maintaine your muscle mass (particularly in the legs) you MUST strength train to signal to your body that it needs that much muscle and cant sacrifice it for fuel (to put it in very simple terms). Strength training at least 2 times a week should keep you from losing any muscle when coupled with proper protein consumption. To GAIN muscle is difficult when working to lose fat, since the process is really pushed by having a surplus of calories. You don't really need a surplus to tone your muscles, but overall gains in mass go much more smoothly with a surplus. To fascilitate this, it's good to stagger your mass gaining and fat losing routines. This is all a personal preference, so I suggest you give it lots of research to find what'll work best for you.

    What I do is have 3 low calories days of some sort, with two strength/mass gaining workouts a week where I make sure to eat a calorie surplus, and a recovery day afterwords, also with a surplus. The net weekly calorie loss is still over a pound. The high calorie days fascilitate in helping your muscles recover from the strenuous activity, allowing them to grow. It's really better to have more recovery time if you want to maximize results, so depending on how fast you want to lose fat, you could try going on a low calorie week, high calorie strength training week sort of schedule, alternating between the two.

    Anyway, I hope all of this helps. I HIGHLY suggest going to this website to read up on most of these concepts.

    Fitness Tips To Get Lean and Toned, Not Bulky! | Fitness Black Book

    Good luck .

  7. #17
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Eek! I do understand that spot reducing is impossible. Overall, I would like to lose about 20 pounds to be in my ideal weight zone. I have a slightly heavier lower body and would like to visually balance it out. I already eat lean protein (lentils, chicken, fish, beans), whole grains, vegetables and fruit. Portion size is probably the main thing left to watch, although it's not way out of hand. I don't eat junk except in the past one Coke a day has been my habit, which I am weaning myself off of. I am already doing the Jillian Michael's get shredded DVD and I do a lot of walking, but want to step things up a bit. Having strong legs while not bulking them up more is one of my goals. I already am working on my shoulders to help build them up so that they help balance out my proportions. I am looking for some kind of cardio that will be useful to further lose fat off my whole body so the work I have done shows up better! Tallulah mentioned something she liked and as an off-handed comment, I said that I was interested in knowing more. Yes, I really, really do understand that you can not lose fat off one specific part of your body!

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    Eek! I do understand that spot reducing is impossible. Overall, I would like to lose about 20 pounds to be in my ideal weight zone. I have a slightly heavier lower body and would like to visually balance it out. I already eat lean protein (lentils, chicken, fish, beans), whole grains, vegetables and fruit. Portion size is probably the main thing left to watch, although it's not way out of hand. I don't eat junk except in the past one Coke a day has been my habit, which I am weaning myself off of. I am already doing the Jillian Michael's get shredded DVD and I do a lot of walking, but want to step things up a bit. Having strong legs while not bulking them up more is one of my goals. I already am working on my shoulders to help build them up so that they help balance out my proportions. I am looking for some kind of cardio that will be useful to further lose fat off my whole body so the work I have done shows up better! Tallulah mentioned something she liked and as an off-handed comment, I said that I was interested in knowing more. Yes, I really, really do understand that you can not lose fat off one specific part of your body!
    Well, however, you wish to augment your physique, just keep those principles I mentioned above in mind and you should be able to get there. Keep in mind your nutrition and calorie intake, and combine that with carefully selected training routines to get the results you want. Remembering that weight training training muscles with higher weights for fewer repetitions will avoid muscle atrophy and simply yield greater strength and tone in the muscle without so much overall mass growth.

    For losing fat, I'd also suggest looking up intermittent fasting. It's basically a method of going without food for 24 hours, once or twice a week, but you time it so that you get to eat every day. IE, you eat what you want on Monday and stop eating at 8:00 p.m. You don't eat until 8:00 p.m. the next day. This facilitates the reduction of your body's glycogen (carb energy) stores, and brings you closer to the point where your body really needs to burn off fat to meet its caloric needs. This is, of course, helped along with some intense exercise to boost the calorie deficit, drain your energy stores faster, and and really stimulate the body to burn fat.

    Also, working out first thing in the morning BEFORE breakfast is the best thing you can do. This works on the same principle as above, since your body has gone without food for at least 8 hours during sleep. Again, more efficient fat burning, and not having food in your system to bog you down REALLY helps your workouts.

    And really do check out that site I linked . Some of the most solid fitness advice you'll find on the net with no BS about products to sell. Just pure, true, fitness principles.

  9. #19
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    take up weights...

    specifically for losing weight, go for large muscle groups and exercises that work out multiple muscles at the same time like squats and bench press

    for a strong lower body, you could just do squats, deadlifts...these two are so functional they pretty mch take care of everything from lower back and below

  10. #20
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Thank you for your advice. I just asked about cardio, not diet, or strength training, because those things are already taken care of. What kind of cardio will not bulk up my lower body, but will still help overall to reduce fat? My possibilities are plyometrics, running, walking, skipping rope, or biking.

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